Wednesday, October 16, 2013

RENFE; The Santiago crash; Saints and sinners; An odd name; Microcars; and Beautiful Women.

Following a court ruling, the Spanish national rail carrier, RENFE, has announced it'll expect all its staff to be fluent(!) in 2 to 4 languages, depending on which region(s) the train is passing through that day. Is this a pipe dream, utter linguistic madness or just RENFE showboating? Read more here. One wonders how the poor staff will be tested for their fluency in English. People outside Cataluña won't be surprised to hear this has come about because a Catalan was furious he couldn't get anyone to talk to him in his language at the bar. Even though he could have spoken Spanish.

Talking of trains . . . The judge investigating the Santiago rail crash of 2 months ago has charged the current and 2 previous presidents of the infrastructure firm, Adif. They're among 30 managers who've been charged for a "serious lack of action" on safety issues. I say "charged' because that's what I read but I'm never too sure the Spanish words are being translated correctly. "Arraigned" might be better, if I knew what it meant. What "charged" seems to mean is that they're instructed to come along and answer questions, in their capacity as (possible?) subjects.

I see the Pope has beatified several hundred Spanish priests, monks and nuns killed during the Civil War here - usually considered the first step on the road to sainthood. Given the history of the organisation, one wonders how he can be sure none of them was a serial child molester. It would be a tad embarrassing to get to Heaven and find you'd sanctified someone the Devil had already welcomed into Hell. But, then, I guess most of them will've had the chance to make that all-important Last Confession, absolving them from all their sins. And making everything alright. For them.

What are the odds? I mentioned a while back an English chap with the bizarre name of Cloudesley Shovell. And then, yesterday, as I was reading of the exploits of the Earl of Peterborough in Spain in the early 18th century, who should pop up but the same guy. Spooky, as Dame Edna would say.

Another week, another death of a microcar driver. As I've mentioned, drivers of these don't have to take any sort of test before they can venture out on the (usually rural) roads. This one was doing a U-turn and was hit by a truck. I wouldn't mind betting he was crossing a sold white line at the time, in his death-on-wheels..

It beats me. Despite La Crisis, work is still scheduled on not just one but 2 ring roads around Pontevedra. This is despite the fact we already have one - the AP9 autopista. They will involve big money, of course. So let's hope they get the proper licences before turning a sod. Which they didn't with their last project - the latest bridge across the river Lerez. Work on which had to be suspended for 9 months or more.

Finally . . . Here's someone's idea of the 10 most beautiful Spanish actresses. I'm sure you can guess who's No. 1. Possibly because she's the only one you've ever heard of. And here is someone else's view of the 10 most beautiful actresses of all time. Strange to relate - given the Spanish view of English women - they occupy 3 of the top 6 slots.

I was going to cite you The Times' list of the Top 200 Universities worldwide but, from a Spanish perspective, it's just too depressing. So, another time. Maybe.


Anonymous said...

Vivien Leigh is British.
None of the other really is. Elizabeth Taylor was born in Britain but parents were American. Audrey Hepburn had scarcely any British blood and was born in Belgium anyway - doesn't count. It is not only the Spanish who think British women are ugly. Actually, everybody does. But I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


Anonymous said...

Mind you - just checked wiki and
V. Leigh apparently had some Armenian blood in her veins....


Colin said...

Congrats on your research. I'm pleased to give you yet another opportunity to display your anti-Brit credentials.

Which doesn't mean I wouldn't disagree re the pulchritude of British women. Especially those of today. And I wasn't making a claim of any sort.

Personally I'm lucky to have two daughters are regarded as stunning, despite being British. Mainly because their mother was/is. Also British. What are the odds on that? Rhetorically.

James Atkinson said...

I watched Breakfast at Tiffany's yesterday, the first time probably since the 6o's. Whilst she was undeniably attractive, I was shocked at how skinny she looked, rather like an overworked ballet dancer.
Perhaps it's because I've become accustomed to seeing so many overweight brits around.

James Atkinson said...

She being Audrey Hepburn of course.

Colin said...

Yes, she was but there's still some skinny Brit birds around. See last night's Strictly, for example.

Imagine a film star with the name Audrey today!

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